Portrat of Heo Jeon

unknownJoseon, 19th century

Gyeonggi Province Museum

Gyeonggi Province Museum
Yongin-si, South Korea

This portrait depicts Heo Jeon (1797-1886), a civil official who started his public career after passing a state examination held in 1835 and served in various mid- and high-ranking government positions including that of Civil Affairs Minister. He is now widely regarded as one of the great Neo-Confucian thinkers, a leader of the Southerners (Namin) faction, and a reformist who was keenly interested in various aspects of the real world. In this full-length portrait, he is shown in his scholar’s robe and official’s black hat, facing slightly to the right, and seated in a chair behind a table with a set of books placed upon it, one of which has been taken out and opened. The painter used a shading technique to create a more realistic depiction of the sitter, and captures minor details that suggest the scholar’s probity and noble character.


  • Title: Portrat of Heo Jeon
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date: Joseon, 19th century
  • Provenance: Gyeonggi Provincial Museum
  • Type: Painting

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